This little, adorable black dog originated from Belgium in the 17th century. Its name means ‘little captain’ and was used to guard canal badges. In addition to this, it was used to shepherd livestock, hunt and guard homes. They Schipperke is said to have descended from the Leauvenaar which was a sheepdog. The developers wanted a smaller version of the Leauvenaar hence they made it smaller until it became an entirely different breed. Their main function was to be watchdogs though they were also provided an important service at the canal badges of being ratters. Captains also enjoyed having them by their side and probably this is where they derived their name from.
The first impression one gets from this dog is that it closely resembles a fox. You may easily be fooled into thinking it originated from a fox lineage. They have a general square shape body frame standing at a height of 11 – 13 inches and weighing 15 – 18 pounds. Its thick coat forms a ruff on its neck which extends down its chest. They have a generally round skull with a pointed muzzle that has a black tipped nose. It has black almond shaped eyes that are set low on its forehead. Its ears are pointed and erect standing high on its head. It is normally born tailless.
The Schipperke is a curious and alert watchdog. They are very protective of their owner’s property as this in an inborn instinct from their ancestors who were used to guarding boats. They are not very open with strangers but always seek to please their masters. They are very active and will need several walks a day to burn off excess energy. It may be challenging to train them and they bark a lot hence one has to be patient.
They will require regular exercise as these are highly active dogs. Take them out at least twice a day for a jog to fulfill their mental and physical requirements. They can be accommodated in an apartment however they will do well having a secure yard on which they can run around in. should be trained and socialized in an early age.
They are a generally healthy breed and will suffer from what is common to other animals such Patellar Luxation, Hypothyroid, epilepsy and Leg-Calve-Perthes disease. They have a general lifespan of over 15 years.
Schipperke should be fed on a nutritious well balanced meal. The amount of food given is dependent on the dog’s age, size and metabolic rate. One should be careful not to overfeed them lest they become overweight.
Coat, Color and Grooming
It has a double coat that forms densely around the neck. The dense undercoat protects it from cold and its coat becomes thinner around the face and legs. Its coat color only comes in a deep black color. One should brush its hair on a weekly basis. Also provide dental hygiene and nail care.
With family and other pets
This breed bonds well with family members and is good with children. It easily accepts other family pets as long as it is well socialized with them.